We at the Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction are constantly finding breast reconstructive patients asking how they can have the most optimal surgical experience. We have decided to share with you some steps we have to help our patients have the best surgery experience possible!
Stop Smoking: Smoking reduces circulation to the skin and impedes healing. (This includes avoiding rooms with smokers.) You must be nicotine free for at least 1 month prior to the procedure and throughout the duration of the various stages (a minimum of around 10 months). Note: nicotine in your system increases risk for wound healing complications, infections, cardiac complications, pulmonary complications, or flap loss/failure.
Get in Shape: While reconstruction process will help improve parts of your body, it is important to be in optimal shape prior to surgery. A Body Mass Index between 19%-25% is an ideal goal. We do not recommend “crash diets” or extreme lifestyle changes. However, statistics have shown patients with a lower Body Mass Index have fewer wound healing complications, infections, pulmonary complications, and cardiac complications.
The Day before Surgery
Cleansing: Purchase Hibiclens or Dial soap and wash all surgical areas with these products. (The Hibiclens is provided with the other prescriptions given pre-operatively.) DO NOT use this after your surgery unless otherwise instructed.
Do not shave the day before your surgery. Open wounds can invite infection.
Eating and Drinking: Do not eat or drink anything after 12:00 midnight the evening prior to surgery. This includes water. No breath mints, no chewing gum.
The Morning of Surgery
Eating and Drinking: Do not eat or drink anything! If you take a daily medication, you may take it with a sip of water in the early morning unless the hospital has given you instructions otherwise. No breath mints, no chewing gum.
Oral Hygiene: You may brush your teeth but do not swallow the water.
Cleansing: Shower and wash the surgical areas again with HIBICLENS or DIAL soap.
Make-up: Please do not wear any moisturizers, creams, lotions, or make-up.
Clothing: Wear only comfortable, loose fitting clothing that does not go over your head. Remove hairpins, wigs, and jewelry. Please do not bring valuables with you.